On a Friday full of upsets and rainy weather, it was all sunshine for second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic as they cruised into the semi-finals at the Internazionali d’Italia without dropping a set.
Mektic and Pavic are seeking their third ATP Masters 1000 title of the year in Rome after claiming back-to-back wins at the Miami Open presented by Itau and the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. They arrived in the Italian capital after reaching the championship match at the Mutua Madrid Open, and have lifted five trophies from seven final appearances since teaming up at the start of the season.
The Croatian duo was in full flight against Frenchmen Adrian Mannarino and Benoit Paire, who resumed their occasional partnership this year at Monte-Carlo. Mektic and Pavic converted four of the eight break points they created across 63 minutes to win 6-4, 6-2.
Mektic and Pavic held firm throughout a tough opening set, where they saved seven of the eight break points faced and edged ahead with a late break of their own for 5-4. In the second set, the second seeds reeled off five games in a row to seal the victory.
Mektic and Pavic will meet John Peers and Michael Venus in the Rome semi-finals after the Australian-New Zealander team toppled eighth seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau 7-6(5), 7-5. Peers and Venus had to save a set point in the first set to take them into a tie-break, where they narrowly escaped with the lead, before breaking through at 6-5 in the second to claim victory.
Marcelo Arevalo and Matwe Middelkoop also sent some seeds crashing out at the Foro Italico with a 2-6, 7-6(3), 10-5 victory over Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer. Arevalo and Middelkoop were down a set and a break to the seventh seeds before they began their comeback. But after battling their way into a Match Tie-break, they quickly took a 5/1 lead and kept their noses in front to triumph after an hour and 43 minutes.
Arevalo and Middelkoop are into their second semi-final of the year after reaching this stage at the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open. They await the winner of fourth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, the Madrid champions, and Australian Open finalists Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, the fifth seeds.
© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour